Ok, I’ll stop with the basketball after today. Maybe. 🙂
I’m an Iowa Hawkeye fan, so having them win an NCAA game on a last second shot Friday night, meant I could watch them on network TV this afternoon. We don’t have cable/dish, and living in the country, our DSL package is pretty slow, so anytime I can catch them on “free” TV is a good day.
Well, I missed the first half because of church, and by the time I got the game on, it was half time, and the game was basically over. From the highlights, my 8th grade girls might have given them a good game with the mental errors I saw (and we struggled this year!). Down 25, I did not watch much of the second half.
That leads me to my title. We Iowans have a bit of an infeority complex (rightfully so), so three teams winning on the first today of the tournament was pretty sweet. Iowa State (I guess I can root for them now) won yesterday, so they were in the Sweet 16. With Iowa out, my next favorite team are the University of Northern Iowa Panthers, winners of their first game Friday night on a last second, half court shot.
Again, no cable, so I found the “voice of the Panthers” on TuneIn, and started listening, with about 10 minutes left and UNI up by 10. Playing great, hitting threes, but never quite pulling away and icing the game. Well, the coach in me was right. UNI is up 10 with maybe a minute and thirty seconds left and the wheels came off. Turnovers, poor decisions, and just a lack of disciple (from a team that had been discipled the whole game) created a tie game at the end of regulation. Five minutes of back and forth, second overtime. And here, the finally nails were laid and the Pathers, 90 seconds from victory, lost.
I feel for this team. They had the game won, plain and simple. As a coach, I’ve been there. I still feel my heart start to race thinking about two games, one from three years, the other, my first year of teaching. Both, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. Both games make me stomach churn, many years later.
I feel for this team. Tomorrow will be a little easier, but this will sting for a long time.
March 20, 2016 at 10:45 pm
Oh, I feel for you. That feeling of losing a game your team should have won is excruciating. I felt that watching the New York Mets in the World Series last fall. They could have won any of those four games they lost, and could have won the series. But it just didn’t happen. One hopes the players learn something positive from such a letdown. Good luck with the rest of your brackets.
March 20, 2016 at 10:45 pm
I can tell by your writing that you love the sport. I liked how you empathized with the losing team.
March 21, 2016 at 3:18 am
One of the fun things about March Madness is how it unites so many people, all the world over. Your passion shines through.
March 21, 2016 at 4:31 am
Listening to the game rather than watching it can give you a whole different perspective based on the announcers. I am glad you are finding a way to follow the games you love, even if the outcome is not always what you would like. Great to read your “coach” take too.
March 21, 2016 at 10:20 pm
A little digging found me the announcer who’s own passion is so evident! I love listening to him because he’s so invested in what he does and his work for the team.
March 21, 2016 at 6:20 am
Yes, it will get better, but the loss still stings. All we have left now is Iowa State.
March 21, 2016 at 10:18 pm
Thankfully, I’m not invested in the UNI team. My Hawkeyes got spanked, so it’s all good! 🙂